By Betsy Ramser Jaime
‘I am Anthony Juma, the second born in a family of 10 siblings. I was brought up in a polygamous family where my father had three wives therefore he couldn’t be able to raise and educate all of us. The burden of raising our family was left to my mother who used her savings that she made from washings clothes and digging for our neighbors.’
While Anthony did well in his studies in primary and secondary school, he didn’t have the money to further his education by attending college.
Instead, he started a business selling secondhand clothing. By doing this, he was able to support himself and also help his mother and provide for his younger siblings’ educations. While his business keeps him busy, he also enjoys traveling, singing, reading, and socializing.
In describing his business Anthony shares, ‘I deal in selling second-hand clothes, especially shirts and jackets. I started this business in 2011 after high school. I was not able to proceed to college for lack of fees and I discovered that due to the high population and my love for fashion this was an ideal business for me to do. I make good profits from my business which I use to pay bills and educate my siblings. I am saving more cash to enable me to join a college in the future. I am also planning to rent a shop to stock the clothes and get out of the street.’
Since joining Zidisha in 2015, Anthony has been able to raise 6 Zidisha-funded loans. His loans have ranged from $100 all the way up to $1,000. With his first loan of $100, he began to increase his inventory of both shirts and jackets.
Throughout 2015 and 2016, Anthony continued to raise loans from Zidisha lenders to keep his shop continually stocked with shirts, jackets, and trousers, for men and children.
As he prepared to raise a loan of $580 in November 2016, Anthony shared, ‘I am grateful for the continuous financial support I have been getting from my lenders, it has made a positive impact on my business and on my livelihood. Considering that I only deal in men’s long trousers and shirts, once given the loan, I intend to introduce selling blouses and women’s tops. Also, I will restock men’s trousers, which I will buy at $3 each and sell each at $4, men’s shirts buying at $2 and selling at $3 and will introduce women’s blouses each buying at $2 and sell at $3. Through the profit increase, I will benefit from reinvestment, paying bills, paying school fees for my children next year and I will also pay fees for my younger brother who intends to pursue a computer course next year.’
In addition to his clothing store, Anthony also started a part-time business as a boda boda (taxi) driver. To take this business to the next level he continued to set money aside to buy his own Honda motorbike, with help from his Zidisha lenders. He also hired two young men to help him work in his clothing shop to allow him to focus his efforts on his transportation business.
Would you like to make a difference in the life of a Zidisha business owner like Anthony? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects page to see how other members of the Zidisha community are changing their lives and families, one business at a time.
Betsy is a Writer and Editor living in Florida with her husband. She has been writing with Zidisha for 5 years and loves sharing the inspiring stories of Zidisha entrepreneurs. You can connect with her on her personal website.